Business is booming despite the flood
BUSINESS in the Northern Rivers was strong, steady and growing since the March 2017 flood, according to the state of the commercial property market.
According to North Coast Commercial Real Estate director Chris Harley, the commercial leasing and sales markets are still very strong in Lismore.
"Any property showing a decent rental yield with a long period of lease and a good quality of tenant is performing very strongly,” he said.
"Lismore is as strong as its ever been in the quarter century plus that I've in been in real estate.”
Mr Harley said commercial properties in Goonellabah and Lismore are equally robust in the eight months since the devastating floods swamped the town.
"Owner-occupier purchasing is not as strong as the investment market, but there's always an exception to the rule,” he said.
"I've (recently) sold a couple of premises to owner-occupiers.”
Mr Harley said rental yields were the reason behind investors choosing commercial over residential properties.
"There a lot of properties with a seven to eight per cent rental yield in Lismore now,” he said.
"It's been a long time since Lismore has done those and some instances people still buy properties with a nine per cent rental yield with a good tenant.”
An A-grade tenant on a five year lease can bring in a seven to eight per cent yield, he said.
"A longer tenancy can bring in an eight to nine per cent yield, an A-grade tenant always gives a better result.”
A shorter tenancy can be a problem in leasing a commercial premises, he said.
And regarding business nearly eight months after the March flood?
Mr Harley believes you need to always stay positive.
He said while a couple of national brands have moved out, some locally-owned small business have stepped up.
"When someone gives up a property lease it gives someone an opportunity to move in,” he said.
"While it's still a net effect we (have) lost a client in the town, the truth is they were going to leave anyway.”